Fresh style insights, tips and commentary by Michelle Tea, Michael Braithwaite, Leo Plass, Page McBee and Carrie Leilam Love.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Interview with JEREMY SCOTT

Jeremy Scott is so punk. If you think it's punk to take the piss out of fashion by, say, daring you to take seriously a lady in a sexy, flowing robe-gown fashioned to look like a piece of pizza, and I do, I do think that's punk. He sends models down the runway wearing faux mahhole covers on their heads like dramatic Dior New Look chapeaus, the models all smudged up like they'd snaked their way through some pipes to get there. Another show was modeled after The Price is Right, with giant-haired women posing next to various appliances - a grandfather clock, a sad little blender, an exercise bicycle. Here's one from that show, which I love:
Club Fags love Jeremy Scott, which is why his designs showed up on bon vivant Jonny Makeup in his spot on Cazwell's I Saw Beyonce at Burger King video (that song will stick in your head like a leech on your brain, open link with supreme caution). Avant-garde jocks love Jeremy Scott, for his line with Adidas that has become instantly iconic thanks to the winged Mercury high-tops. Here's an iridescent pair for 2010, plus the triple-tongue sneaker:

Flashy rappers like Kanye West and Lil' Kim love Jeremy Scott, and all sorts of pop stars - he made Brittney's airline stewardess dress for her Toxic video, and Madonna, Bjork, Lady Gaga and Beth Ditto frequently are wearing his designs on and off stage. Here's Beth at Coachella a couple months ago wearing a piece from his Fall 2010 collection that is less campy and more gorgeous - a Cathedral stained-glass window with a hint of Mom's lucky Bingo sweater. You know, the one with the jewels she bought at Micheal's and sewed on herself while chain smoking and watching her favorite program:

The motorcycle jackets Scott designs for Schott NYC are some of my favorites. Motorcycle jackets are formative for me and I'm so happy they're back that I feel anxious already at the inevitability of them going away again. But pieces like Scott's does a lot towards helping them stick around for a few more fashion minutes. I love the pink and scribbley Keith Haring - and I really, really love, in a million corny sentimental ways, that Jeremy Scott is using Keith Haring's designs - and I love the Troll Toile du Jouy:
Toile, that blue and white pastoral pattern from France, is actually one of my favorite patterns in the whole world, so much so that I am always half-wondering how I can get a Toile tattoo. So, if Toile is my favorite pattern, and rompers are my favorite piece of clothing, can you guess how crazy I am about the Jeremy Scott Troll Toile romper?

Right? I love this piece so much. I love the model, too, her poufy pompadour and glasses. And I fucking love that bow. I often hate bows, a lot, unless I love them, and then I really love them. I like a psychotic bow, like if you're going to do a bow, do a bow, and Jeremy Scott knows how to do a bow, AK-47-style, as seen in his Fall 2010 collection:
That is a bow. I would kill a loved one for that dress. I'm not proud of this, it's just the way it is. Also, that model is Natalie Hockey. She's fifteen years old and was discovered while sneaking into a Narciso Rodriguez show. Lucky!

Anyway, I can't even believe Jeremy Scott let me talk to him! And by talk of course I mean email. He is so, so busy!

IRONING BOARD COLLECTIVE: Hey, what were you like in High School?

JEREMY SCOTT: Well, I had so many styles and tastes in High School, it would require a dissertation to describe all the looks I was into! I've always loved hip hop, I've always loved formal clothes and have been very interested in punk and African-influenced dress, to name a few. I did certainly make and re-make some clothes from thrift stores in order to create a look from which to express myself.

Lilo in a piece from Scott's Men at Work collection.
Photo by Jeremy Scott, too.

IBC: What was growing up in Kansas City like?

JS: I had a very happy childhood. I grew up on a farm in my Elementary School years, and came back to the city for Junior High and High School. I was fortunate to have the freedom to find and follow my imagination wherever it took me, from creating pottery out of clay I dug up from the ground to photographing my Star Wars figures in setups created from my favorite scenes in the film. I love to visit home and I just enjoy seeing the wide open land and the big blue sky on a summers day there.

IBC: Reading anything inspiring right now?

JS: Sadly, I don't find much time to read. I have been trying to finish a biography on Walt Disney for ages now, to no avail. My fourth show was inspired by some passages in the book Holy Fire. I was very interested in the idea of nostalgia for the future.

IBC: You've dressed Beth Ditto, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Rihanna, really every big pop star. What is that process like, is it collaborative?

JS: Working with each performer is different and individual. Working with Beth is very easy as she is so fashion-friendly and loves trying new looks and prints. She inspires me so much, I find such a feeling of pride when I see her wearing my clothes. I have been blessed over my career to be working with and dressing some of the most amazing and inspiring musicians the world has ever seen!

Beth Yabba Dabba Ditto, SS10

Lady Gaga, in my Jeremy Scott seashell bathing suit.
You're welcome, Gaga.

Does Jeremy Scott get some sort of prize
for getting Rihanna to wear a shirt
that says AVANT-GARDE?

IBC: How did you wind up designing an outfit for Miss Piggy?

JS: I had to sign a full, complete confidentiality contract regarding my work with the illustrious actress and Muppet diva Miss Piggy. All I can say is that I'm very proud to be the first designer to ever dress her, and I find her to only get more beautiful over time.

This pig's got secrets.

IBC: Adidas threw you a giant party at Coachella this year, renting out Frank Sinatra's old mansion and placing an ice sculpture of you in an Adidas track suit in the pool. Did you have fun or are events like that super stressful?

JS: I had a great time! It's always fun to see my friends while I'm at Coachella, and the team from Adidas makes sure that everything is set, so all I have to do is worry about my outfit! I have now worked with Adidas for over eight years, and ore recently have had the collection I design for them become a larger and more important part of my work. I enjoy working with them as it's like a large family. I love the brand and what it stands for, and how receptive they are to new ideas and moving forward. I feel blessed to have found a partner like them and have many new things in store for the coming seasons!
Things like this Jeremy Scott for Adidas matador sweatshirt?
Bring it, please.

IBC: What are you channeling right now for your next collection?

JS: That's a secret!

Like Miss Piggy and Jeremy Scott, I too have fashion secrets. Last winter I rode the coattails of Beth Ditto into the show for Scott's Mousetrap collection in Paris. All the first row seats were topped with a beautiful Jeremy Scott for Longchamp tote bag, red, covered with the designer's pattern of heavy black telephones and curling cords. I did not have seats in the first row, but Beth did, and when she sat down paparazzi swarmed her. What front row regular wants to risk an epilepsy seizure triggered by the exploding of five hundred flash bulbs into your eyeballs? The seats next to Beth remained vacant, and then, suddenly, the lights dimmed, and the tarp was being pulled off the runway, and Toni Basil's Micky came through the speakers, and models began catwalking their way toward us in all the designer's finery. I sat down quick on a vacant seat, landing on my dream bag. I hugged it to my chest and vowed to punch anyone who tried to take it from me, unless it was the designer himself, in which case I would just cry and tell a pathetic tale of being a struggling writer or something. But nothing of the sort happened. I got out of the building with my very own Jeremy Scott for Longchamp tote, which I love so dearly, and get ridiculously excited to tug it around town, as if it is alive, as if it is a small puppy I am holding and not my computer and 500-page work-in-progress.

Stolen goods?

Also, I was at the Adidas Coachella party, and left with a fluffy beach towel emblazoned with the image of Jeremy Scott as an angel in a baby blue track suit. There was a shit ton of them, so many I was layering them atop a gang of partygoers rolling on Ecstacy - oh, how they loved the flutter of the beachtowel as it came down over their heads! - and it seemed like if I hung around they surely would be gifted to us partygoers, but alas I had to leave early, totally missing Lindsay Lohan getting into a fight with that poseur tranemy (Tranemy = Enemy of Transpeople)
Katy Perry. I am disturbed at the thought that I may have not one but two pieces of stolen merchandise from one of my favorite designers. But not disturbed enough to do anything about it. I am going to be the hottest fag hag in all of Provincetown when I pull my Jeremy Scott towel out of my Jeremy Scott tote on the beach, hey!

Now, back to our interview . . .

IBC: What's your astrological sign, and do you feel like it?

JS: I'm a Leo, and yesssssss!

He's a Leo.

IBC: What's your favorite thing to wear yourself?

JS: Shorts, cuz I've got killer legs, if I don't say so myself!

IBC: Do you have any pieces of clothing or jewelry that are sentimental to you?

JS: I have a gold chain which my former gold fronts are now hanging from.

IBC: If you weren't a designer what do you think you'd have ended up being?

JS: I don't think about it, as this was the only thing I ever seriously set out to be.

IBC: If you were to fake your own death where would you go and what would you do?

JS: Oh, I love my life and I'd be sad without it!

So would we, Jeremy Scott!


  1. WOW!!!! So great. That motorcycle jacket made me so happy.

  2. Oh man, so awesome!!! I cannot handle the seashell bathing suit.

  3. Jeremy Scott is my new interview hero! And holy shit@ that Matador Sweatshirt!! Mine, please.

  4. :O Too amazing, your mind is on a whole new level